Fifteen states and Amtrak will receive $2.02 billion for their high-speed rail efforts, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Monday, May 9. The additional money is a portion of the $2.4 billion returned by Florida Gov. Rick Scott that was originally slated for a proposed high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando.
The funding will now be used for 22 high-speed intercity passenger rail projects as part of a network to connect 80 percent of the U.S. population to high-speed rail over the next 25 years. Twenty-four states, the District of Columbia and Amtrak submitted nearly 100 applications seeking the money.
The submissions were evaluated by the Federal Railroad Administration and judged on the project’s ability to reduce energy consumption, improve efficiency of a region’s transportation network and a number of other criteria.
The remaining $400 million from Florida’s $2.4 billion was rescinded in the federal budget agreement for fiscal 2011, according to Brie Sachse, director of public affairs for the Federal Railroad Administration.
Some of the larger allocations of the $2.02 billion include:
A complete list of the awards is located on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s website.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood touted the economic benefits the awards would bring communities nationwide. “The investments we’re making today will help states across the country create jobs, spur economic development and boost manufacturing,” LaHood said in a statement.